Steve Preda is a Leadership Team Coach whose passion is to help emerging privately owned businesses grow and thrive. He pursues it by simplifying and teaching management and strategy concepts used by large companies, and elite consulting firms. His new book is now available: Pinnacle: Five Principles that Take Your Business to the Top of the Mountain.
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Your liquidity event is the most important financial transaction of your life. You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count.
But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.
Our founders said "no" to a 7-figure offer and "yes" to a 9-figure offer less than two years later.
Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event.
After all, how can you master something you've never done before?
Are you leaving millions on the table?
Learn how the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our 9-step roadmap helps you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.
Click here to book your free exploratory strategy session.
Enjoy the interview!
[00:00:00] Jeffrey Feldberg: Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.
This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience.
Your liquidity event is the largest and most important financial transaction of your life.
But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave anywhere from 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.
I should know. I said no to a seven-figure offer and yes, to mastering the art and science of a liquidity event. Two years later, I said yes to a different buyer with a nine-figure offer.
Are you thinking about an exit or liquidity event?
If you believe that you either don't have the time or you'll prepare closer to your liquidity event, think again.
Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event.
After all, how can you master something you've never done before?
Let the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our nine-step roadmap of preparation help you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.
At the end of this episode, take a moment to hear from business owners, just like you, who went through the Deep Wealth Experience.
Steve Preda is a leadership team coach whose passion is to help emerging privately owned businesses grow and thrive. He pursues it by simplifying and teaching management and strategy concepts used by large companies and elite consulting firms. His new book is Pinnacle: Five Principles that Take Your Business to the Top of the Mountain.
Welcome to The Deep Wealth Sell My Business Podcast. And as usual, I have an epic episode lined up for you today. have a guest who is a thought leader and author and someone who is just going to rock your world. When you look at your business today and have a bit of a rhetorical question before I introduce our guest.
all you business owners out there when it comes to your business. Would you like to know how to take it to the next level? Can you take it to the next level? if there were five principles that you could do that would take your business to the pinnacle, to the very top of the mountain? exactly what we're going to be talking about today with our guest, Steve. Steve, welcome to The Deep Wealth Sell My Business Podcast and as always such a pleasure to have you with us, Steve, I'm curious.
There's always a story behind the story. What's your story? What got you to where you are today?
[00:02:57] Steve Preda: Well, first of all, thank you for having me. And this is one of the best introductions I've ever got. So thank you for that. So my story, your theme, the podcast theme here is the liquidity events. This was pretty much my world up until 10 years ago when I moved to the United States from central Eastern Europe specifically Hungary, I was a business owner.
I started and scaled and then exited my investment banking firm and they're focusing on small and medium-size businesses, how to prepare them for sale, help them go and find buyers and around 2011 I had this feeling that the things are changing in Europe, that we had the huge demographic crisis. We had political polarization, Hungary was going in a direction, which I felt was not helping my business. In for the long term, our business was really reliant on international investors coming to Hungary, buying companies, investing in companies, and the government was more involved looking at, becoming more of your building a core with local entrepreneurs, and then I decided to basically start my business, move over here. And when I arrived, I looked around, I started coaching other entrepreneurs, you know, worked with some businesses in an investment banking capacity. And then I started talking about some of the ideas that I have learned along the way, became a speaker on the speaking circuit, talking to CEO peer groups.
And then I started writing books and last year, I came up with a book title Buyable, which is all about making businesses buyable, and how to think about this whole process. And just now, just last week, we launched with my co-author Gregory Cleary, another book called Pinnacle, which is all about helping a private business owner to take their business to the top of the mountain.
With the principles that you referenced in your introduction.
[00:04:59] Jeffrey Feldberg: Steve, what's going to be particularly interesting today. You have the background of helping business owners get through a liquidity event. You've been doing that and now you come along with a new operating system for business owners to be able to operate from, but I suspect it's grounded in what you did with Buyable how do you just create these businesses that people hound to, to buy in and really help you out as a business owner.
When you're brought in a coach and as a leader into a business.
Why don't we start with some of the low-hanging fruit when you're working with business owners and their businesses. What would be some of the more common mistakes that business owners are making, maybe they don't even realize it that are getting them into trouble that you're dealing with in your book, Pinnacle, and the five principles that you have.
[00:05:46] Steve Preda: It's a great question. , So first of all I just want to shed the light a little bit on the connection, why I went from investment banking to operating system. So as an investment banker, I love doing deals. It was really very exciting. There was lots of ups and downs, obviously, and you could feel really successful when we helped someone increase the value of the business and help them to live a better life.
However, looking back I feel a little bit of pinch of regret because I feel like some of the businesses that we saw, we saw them too early. So, if I knew what I know now, I would've helped these business owners to improve their business and to get more money for their business. And that's what this operating system is about.
My focus now is about helping people build those viable businesses that eventually they may not want to even sell because it makes as much money as they need. And it also engages them and helps them have a fulfilling life. Now, what are the major mistakes that people make? I would say the biggest mistake is that they don't build a team.
So they keep on making all the decisions themselves and then the times comes to handle the keys. Then there's no one to take the keys because they don't actually have a business. They have an extension of themselves, which no one dares to buy, because if that genius is not there, then the helpers will not be able to run the business.
So the biggest mistake people make is that they don't build a team and they don't make the business into a self-managing entity.
[00:07:21] Jeffrey Feldberg: Steve, I love what you're talking about. You are preaching to the choir here at Deep Wealth, and I want to circle back your comments as an investment banker, because really as an investment banker, I know you feel a twinge of regret as you're saying, really when you take a step back as an investment banker, you were doing what investment bankers do when a business owner comes to you.
You're then taking that company out the marketplace and the marketplace is speaking to what that value is. Now, our thesis at Deep Wealth is it's exactly like what you're saying. Most business owners are not prepared with their business to have a liquidity event in the first place. And it's not really their fault because how do you master something you've never done before, but a little bit of a rhetorical question there.
So I hear you on the regret side and I also hear you on, hey, if it would have prepared a little bit more. They could have done that much better. And so we're in alignment there. I mean our 9-step roadmap with our 90-day Deep Wealth Experience is all about that Pinnacle. Your book is all about that. And let's talk a little bit about the management team, because that's also what we see a Deep Wealth, one of the fatal mistakes, one of the number one fatal, mistakes that we see with most businesses.
And I would take it a step further. Steve, I don't know if you'll agree with this. You can tell me even if a business owner has a management team. A lot of business owners, you don't want to put myself in this category, we can be type A personalities and really want to control everything. And we have a management team, but nothing happens unless it runs through us.
And even though there's a management team, business really doesn't run without that owner. here's the question for you Steve, because on paper, it sounds really simple, well, just hire smart people that are going to run the business. You're not going to be there. But easier said than done. talk with us of some strategies in your book, Pinnacle?
What can a business owner do to start correcting that mistake of the business not running without him or her?
[00:09:13] Steve Preda: Yeah. So that leads us to the five principles. So what are the five principles? That we talk about in pinnacle. So these are People, Purpose, Playbooks, Performance, and Profits. So the idea is that if you create the right culture and you empower your people and you give them a powerful purpose and you define an ingrain playbooks and optimize them, and then you have a system of execution so that everyone performs at a high level.
Then the byproduct is profit. But if you can even take this a step further and you can benchmark yourself to the elite players in your industry and figure out engineer your business so that you deliver that high level of profitability and to make it sustainable in the long term. So what the business owner can do to have the leadership team is to start thinking in a structured way about creating this and dedicating to a process of creating that. And I believe and it's my experience and I've worked in a community of business guides. We are over a hundred Pinnacle Business Guides and our experiences that we can help these companies grow by 20% of the top line.
And if you do that for five years, then you are going to grow the value of your business by two, actually the top line of the business by two and a half times of the size of the business. And if you double your profit margin during the time, then you can quintuple the value of your business. So that's our recipe is you can 5X the value of your business over five years with these five principles.
[00:10:50] Jeffrey Feldberg: And absolutely terrific and I mean, who wouldn't want to do that? But as usual, it's always in the details of how do you do that? And what does that look like? And so see maybe what we can do is why don't we start an example with the people, which is mountain number one in the book, and when it comes to people, obviously each one of these five mountains that you talk about that can be an episode in and of itself, Steve.
But if we look to the people for mountain number one, should be some takeaways for our listeners of what they should be thinking about, or even doing, coming out of this episode that you and I are talking about this.
[00:11:26] Steve Preda: For each mountain, you even show the five principles. We have defined three practices. And if you focus on these three practices, then you can really make the most of these principles. So for the people principle, the three practices is its culture, its functions, and its coaching. And the idea is that you want to define and articulate the culture of your business with the help of a handful of core values, which describe the behaviors that your best people are exhibiting.
Then you want to make sure that you figure out what are the functions that you need in the business in order to grow to the next level and what are the outcomes. Each of the functions have to deliver for you. And then you empower people's people in the organization to lead each of those functions, and then you coach them to be successful in leading the function and the people who are high on your, on the fit, on your culture, fit and high on productivity.
They are your A-players and a potentials. And those people who are either not hired a culture fit or not highly productive, they are B or C players. And what we teach is that you want to focus on your A potentials and your A-players and not on your B. And C's because the B's and C's, they're not a potentials.
They don't have the potential to become a players and you are wasting your time. You cannot make sheep into wolves. So, what you want to do is you want to pick those people who have the potential to be a 9 or 10 on the productivity and help them be as good as they can possibly be.
Keep your A-players engaged by keeping challenging them, keeping them in the flow. And then, empower your people so they become mini CEOs of their functions so that they look at their function as a business within the business that they are strategically going to grow over time.
[00:13:23] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Steve, what's really interesting is you start with culture and culture is one of our favorite areas at a Deep Wealth in step number two, we call that X-Factors that insanely increase the value of your business. And culture is an X factor because for us for our listeners, Steve's nodding his head. You can't see that, but I can. Culture, it's like a fingerprint it's unique to every business, your competition with all of their capital, copy your technology.
They can hire your people away. But they cannot copy your culture. They cannot buy your culture. And I have taken a step further. If you have the right culture, they're not going to be able to hire your people away. So it really becomes a terrific self-serving way of helping the business grow and just really making a difference and getting that out there.
So you've nailed it on the people's side. And you're talking a lot about culture and having those B and C players. And I guess implicit in that Steve making sure that our leaders. They want to hire people that are smarter and better than themselves because if you have a, B or C leader, B or C leaders, they're not really, leaders are probably managers and they feel threatened by the A-players.
So the culture is just such a foundational concept what's in there. And you also talk about your third principle or your third practice is coaching. And I know for a lot of business owners, the pushback that I often hear is I Jeffrey I'm so busy in the business. don't have time for coaching.
Steve, you're a coach. When you're doing the investment banking side of things you saw what happened when people didn't have coaches, why don't you share for our listeners, coaching is so important and just the benefits that they're going to get from that.
[00:15:00] Steve Preda: So for a business owner, a business leader, I believe coaching is the number one job because if they pick the right people and they coach them, they don't have to do anything else. And those people are going to do everything in the business. They going to run the business. They're going to grow out the business.
They're going to come up with solutions that solve their problems. It's all about the people. So if you're in business, you're in the people business and you know, you can't afford to not coach your people because it means you're not a leader. And then, you should maybe sell your business or find someone else who can do that because the business is not going to, it's not going to go without it.
[00:15:37] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well said. So for mountain number one, all about the people you've talked about, the culture, some of the functions that go with that, and then the coaching, let's go now to mountain number two, with the purpose. I know with purpose again, you don't mess around. I know your three practices are the vision, the strategy and the alignment.
So what's going on with that? Steve, can you talk to us about that?
[00:16:01] Steve Preda: Yes. So the idea is the all this create first mentally and then get manifested. So, company cannot achieve. Sometimes there can be an emergent strategy. Some people talk about emergent strategy. They try things in real-time and something comes out of it. And that's sometimes works, but in most cases, it's much more powerful if you have a vision. If you want to take this company because then you can socialize this vision and you can have everyone see the same thing and move to the same direction and make the decisions that are necessary to get there. So the purpose is the vision, how you're going to get there is the strategy, and then how you socialize that and make sure everyone is on the same page. Everyone understands it. It is completely focus through the fabric of your business. That's the alignment piece and all three are in form.
[00:16:57] Jeffrey Feldberg: Steve, I couldn't have said that any better. And what I really like with what you're doing with your purpose and with the vision piece practice, number four, you talk a lot about what's the company's why? Why are you doing what your doing? And as we look forward to a future liquidity event, you're preparing along the way in step number three of the 9-step roadmap, it's thinking like a future buyer, your narrative for that future buyer of why you're doing what you're doing and why your business over any other business is the best one to solve.
That problem becomes a cornerstone, not only for the liquidity event, but ties into the enterprise value and the deal and what that's going to look like, and you're getting that right in from day one when you start to implement your operating system right into the business. So what we got the purpose going, you give us the vision and the strategy that goes behind that.
And then you talk about the alignment just to put all that together. So now we go to mountain, number three, calling it playbooks. And I know for some people they're saying, what playbooks, what the heck is that? So Steve, talk to us about playbooks, why they're important in what you're doing with them?
[00:18:00] Steve Preda: Before I go to playbooks, I just want to reflect on what you said about the visual of how important it is for liquidity events. So what it's this one is in my experience how they get confused about vision. They confuse the company's vision with their own personal vision.
So sometimes, you know, I talk to a visitor say that I want to exit this company in three years. And my vision is that I'm going to sell the business and I'm going to become an author. I'm going to go sit on this island, whatever the vision is. And if that's their vision for the company, then they not going to be successful with selling the business because no one wants to buy a company that's the vision of which is the past owner who is already gone. And now the company doesn't know where to go and the people feel despondent that their leader is gone. So it's really critical for the business owner to allow the company to develop its own vision. Independent of the business owner, if they want to exit they're probably not even be part of that vision, but you want to create that for the business so that the momentum continues.
After the business owner exits because the company is going on its own way. And this is what buyers whether it's the public or it's a private equity group, whatever it is, they want the company that is managing itself and it's got its own journey.
[00:19:15] Jeffrey Feldberg: Before you jumped to the playbook, I couldn't agree more. For our listeners out there in step three, the Future Buyer in the Deep Wealth experience, when you master the art and science of thinking like a buyer, you understand it and see if it's an investment banker. I'm sure you saw this all the time what do buyers want to do? Well, effectively, big picture-wise, they want to minimize the risk as much risk as they can minimize as possible. Steve, to your point, I mean, as we go through each of these mountains, each of these five principles, minimizing the risks for the future buyer, but having a management team as an example that runs the business without the owner.
So the owner can be abducted by aliens, come back five years later. And that business is not only there, but it's even better than it was five years ago. That's what a buyer wants to see, or a buyer wants to see a culture that we spoke about earlier. That's just thriving. when you minimize the risk, you then allow the buyer to focus on, okay, what's my return on investment going to be how quickly, and how much is my ROI going to be?
And so the risk and the ROI really go hand in hand. I like how you're dealing with both of those as we're going through these mountains so from that set and a terrific clarification on your points so now to the playbook. So what's going on with playbooks?
[00:20:25] Steve Preda: So that goes back to the people principle. So in order for the company, any company to grow, the people have to, especially at the leadership level, they have to grow themselves, which means that their impact if I want to grow this company five times, 5X in the next five years, my leadership team has to be five times more impactful because if they are not then no one else is going to be able to elevate below them.
No one is going to grow below them, now how do they achieve that 5X impact at the leadership level? It means that they are constantly upgrading on what they are working on. So if they start out with being doers and executing. Being a salesperson or being an operation person who actually runs projects.
They have to elevate from that to become leaders and to do the thinking piece, the strategic piece that the people below them cannot do, and delegate everything that can be systemized through playbooks, to other people. So playbook is a vehicle. Which you can use to pass down those processes that other people can be trained to be doing.
It also is a blueprint for people who come into the business who don't have the experience and the intuition that you got as a business leader, to be able to pick things up and be productive and successful. And that's what the playbooks do. They document the best practice in your business. And it gives you a process to ingrain those best practices and optimize them over time.
So you have a baseline and you keep improving your performance and everyone else is able to pick things up and you can stay at a strategic level and focus on growth and on new markets.
[00:22:04] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Steve, I really like what you're doing there because for our listeners, what Steve is talking about, at Deep Wealth, we call this an X factor. Steve calls it playbooks. We call it the four points of clarity. And that's really where you're systematizing everything. You've documented everything. You have key performance indicators. People know what their job role and responsibility is. You also understand why they're doing that, but effectively what you're doing is through that documentation. See if like you're saying future buyer comes in, the future buyer says, okay, I have written documentation. I don't have to reinvent the wheel.
I don't have to be asking all these questions and starting from ground level, I'm actually going to keep things moving forward because I have all that in there. So it just makes things so much easier. And Steve, I know there's business owners out there that are saying, hey, Steve I hear you. And yes, documentation is important that I know we should be doing it, but we don't have the time everyone's too busy or we don't have the money to bring somebody in to do that.
Do you have any suggestions of what a business owner can do to actually get that documentation in place?
[00:23:02] Steve Preda: Very simple. And in Pinnacle we, describe a five-step process of how to do that. And basically, I actually was inspired by a book that I read last year, Systemology from David Janice, who talks about this idea of separating the performers and the documentation of a process.
So you don't put on the person who is your star salesperson. Don't ask them to document how they do the survey, because they might not even know how they do it. They are intuitively doing it. So you want, what you want to do is you identify the playbooks that you want to document, you identify the person who embodies the best practice in your business.
And then you have another person who records person and document that best practice. Then you basically circulate it to the right people to review it and finalize it then announce it. It's very simple, but they also talk about is that you want to optimize these best practices over time. You want to simplify it and automate as much as you possibly can because that's the holy grail of playbooks.
When you can automate your workflows and you actually don't even have to touch them. They just start in the background and you elevate your people and they work on or high levels strategic thinking staff that only people can do.
[00:24:24] Jeffrey Feldberg: There you have it easier said than done, but it's not that difficult if you put your mind to it, you know what we can just about do anything that we want to do. So document, document, document. Steve has outlined why that's going to be so important, not just for yourself, but thinking down the road for your future buyer as well.
So Steve, with the playbooks we covered mountain number three, let's go to mountain number four, and you're calling that Perform. And you're having in there. Your three practices are the rocks, the metrics, and the meetings. So what's going on with that? What should we know?
[00:24:56] Steve Preda: So these are going to be very familiar for many listeners, rocks or OKRs. They have been around the last 40 or 50 years. And what they are is really, they are a method of goal-setting. So the way they look at performance is that we have our purpose, we have our vision. So we know what our divide up the organization what you called the Pinnacle.
So the big long-term goal, we have the medium-term masters. And then we use these masters to articulate our annual growth plan. So where do we want to be at the end of the year? What is going to be our profit and our revenue target and what are going to be our major goals for the year which you know you can have a goal around growing your revenues. You can have a goal creating playbooks. You can have one around people, you can have one about growing your thought leadership, whatever it is. It could be developing your product. So set out a handful of major goals, and then every quarter you get together your leadership team and you look at your goals and you asked the question by what means can we progress the company on these goals, what are going to be our fast rocks for this quarter? We use the acronym fast as opposed to smart, because we believe that rocks have to be frequently reviewed. They have to be ambitious, not sandbag, and, they have to be specific and transparent. So if you focus on these attributes that we are going to set really good quality of rocks that the organization can rally behind and execute.
And then you want to also measure the performance of your people in the organization. Every week using metrics so that at the end of the quarter, you're not going to be surprised you are going to be hitting your numbers because your weekly metrics adapt to your call-in numbers. And then you have your daily activities that will help you to hit your weekly metrics.
And then you have a meeting structure, which makes sure that you are creating the peer accountability so that people are holding each other accountable to hitting those metrics and achieving those fast tracks, as opposed to relying on the CEO, to hold individually accountable people. So you want to create that culture of peer accountability, where everyone wants to succeed and to holding each other accountable together.
[00:27:26] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Steve, I'm wondering when it comes to introducing this into a company, the company has probably been disorganized. Everyone's doing their own thing. They're not as organized as a system that you outlined here. What are some strategies that can be followed to get people? Number one, not only to buy into the system but once they've bought in to actually follow through day over day, week over week, month, over month, quarter over quarter, year over year, you get the picture. What can we do to make sure that the system actually sticks? People are using it and they want to use it. You know, we're not having to force them to use it. There's a difference between forcing someone to do it and they actually want to do it. So what can we do?
[00:28:06] Steve Preda: We talked about coaching earlier, how important it is that you as the CEO or business owner, that you coach your people, and guess what. So the CEO probably they need a coach as well because however successful you are. I mean, LeBron James has his coach, Rafael Nadal has a coach. So the greatest athletes in the world, they all have their coaches.
Why? Because they need the outside perspective, they need to see themselves through the expert eyes of others. And they also need the accountability. They need someone that is going to be there and they know that they're going to be accountable. It just helps its human nature. It helps us keep us on track and honest.
So if you want to implement a system like that, It's first while considering hiring a coach who is going to help you implement, and what is special about pinnacle compared to other systems like US? It's a fully customized system. It's not about a cookie cutter, one size fits all. It's about looking at each company there they are and meeting them there they are or, and bringing them the right tool at the right time. And to help them grow at their own pace that they can possibly do, keep them in the flow. You know, when you're in the flow, you are challenging yourself with just a little bit so that you are always, you've got the stimulation of a challenge, but you're not over-challenged because that makes you burn out.
And you're not under-challenged because that will make you bored. You are, if you can stay in the flow then you can optimize your performance and you can get. The fastest possible way. So, if you want to have a system like that, it's first learning the system, you're reading the book, understand how it works, but I also recommend that you hire a coach who can help you keep on track and who will, who have seen a lot of different companies and knows what to help you with and keeps their ears on the ground..
And basically, the ropes in review and help you climb up like a sherpa to the Pinnacle.
[00:30:11] Jeffrey Feldberg: I like that a coach is like a sherpa to help you get to the pinnacle. And Steve really what's nice about the system. It reinforces one step reinforces the next step. So the coaching as an example, With the rocks and the meetings and the KPIs. Now, if a business owner is saying, hey, you know what Steve read the book sounds terrific.
Really liked what I saw, but you're right. We need some coaching. I need some coaching. Is that something that you're offering see from your side that you'll be able to go in and work with a business owner and the team to help be that sherpa to get them to the next level?
[00:30:42] Steve Preda: Of course I do. So if your listeners are interested then they can check out my website, stevepreda.com or they can look at other guides in the pinnacle system on pinnaclebusinessguides.com. And you have a conversation and see if that makes sense to them. If they like the guide, they can have composition of multiple guides and see what it means to commit to a guide.
And I also recommend them to read the book Pinnacle because that's going to give them a clear idea of what it takes to actually do with this essence to the top of the mountain
[00:31:19] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific. And speaking at the top of the mountain last but not least. And it really, it's always a measure of how we're doing in this game of business, it's profit. And I know for your practices in the mountain number five profit, you talk about Benchmark and then Engineer and Sustain. So what's going on there Steve? What should we know about that?
[00:31:41] Steve Preda: So profit is really important for business and many people when they talk about profit, they think about, oh, it's all about the owner. The owner wants to get rich, build this company, making it profitable by limiting salaries and stuff like that. But from the perspective of the business, why you need profit is the profit is the oxygen.
So if there's no profit or if there's not enough profit, you're not going to be able to attract the best people. You're not going to be able to invest in state-of-the-art systems in the business automation. You're not going to be able to do R and D to differentiate yourself. So you really need money in order to put your business, to give all the resources to your business that your business needs in order to stay ahead of the competition.
So that's why it's important that you are at an elite level of profitability in your end. So benchmark is about figuring out what is that. So for a software company, it may be 50%. Of sales or higher for a construction company. It's maybe 70% of sales for a commodity company is maybe 10%. So every company is different.
So you do well to figure out and it talk about in the book on how to do that. So figure out what your elite level of practice within your industry and engineering is about creating the business that can deliver that elite level of practice or engineer your business in a way so that you are going to be at that level.
But it takes is that you pull on some levers and we talking about the different levers. There are some low-hanging levers, like cross-selling and repricing your product. And then there are mid-level pinnacle tours and then there's operational excellence, six Sigma. So we talked about the different levers that you can pull, and then you had achieved a best-of-class profitability.
Then what you want is you want to sustain that you want to be at a business that is essentially locks it in. It makes that sustainable for you to stay at that elite level. And it takes discovering and buliding your strategy stack, we call it strategy stack. Those differentiating features of your business that are in combination is going to be really hard to copy for your competitors.
And you can be very competitive in the longterm. So one of the examples I talk about in the book is Ikea, which has been a dominant player in furniture, manufacturing, and retail for the last, over 40 years. And they are so dominant. But the number two player is one 10th of their size. Yes, it's another Scandinavian company.
So they are dominating the business because they have or their differentiated activities. That in combination are really difficult. The supply chain, the design, the meatballs, Swedish meatballs, and the way they buy their stores and so on.
So that's the holy grail. When you put this strategy stack together and stay at that elite level, and then you become a category of one in your industry. And that's what our goal is with pinnacle is to make you a category of one in your business, in your industry.
[00:34:55] Jeffrey Feldberg: I love it. We call that a blue ocean category of one, regardless of what you call it is where you want to be. It's really the only place to be. That's where you're going to get the higher evaluation when it comes to your liquidity event. And so Steve you've really done a terrific job of outlining the five mountains, the five principles that will take a business to the pinnacle of success, roughly how long would it take?
So from a business starting really from we'll call it zero. They're not doing any of these things that's why they're going to be implementing your operating system, the pinnacle operating system. How long at a you know, a good place. Not too slow, not too fast. How long would it take to implement the system?
[00:35:34] Steve Preda: So here's the thing about the pinnacle. It's not a finite. It's an infinite game. So when you reach your pinnacle, so let's say you start now and you set out a pinnacle, maybe 10 years out and you reached the pinnacle guess what's going to happen. You're going to get to the pinnacle. And you're going to realize that it's a false peak because actually there's a higher mountain behind it, and then that's going to become your next pitiful.
But to specifically answer your question. So our goal is to quintuple the value of your business in five years. So where ever you are we can safely promise you that if you worked with the guide and you are coachable, then you are easily going to grow your revenues by 10% on average.
And you are going to double your net profit margin in five years, and that's going to quintuple your value possibly even grow it more because your value multiplier is going to go as well. And then whoever you are, you can do that. Now, some businesses do much better. So one of the examples I mentioned in the book, we mentioned the book is discover strength, which was a fitness business and my co-author had them as a client for the last 10 years and they vent from the profit of 700,000 and now they are, I can't remember the exact numbers, but essentially they grew their value by 250 times over that 10 year period. So that's 50,000 more than the 5X. So there are many examples of that, that you can do more and sometimes you do less.
So if you are not coachable, if you're not executing then you're gonna grow less and it's gonna be a less satisfying journey. But the 5X is a very safe thing. Cause if you start working on your playbooks, if you start working on your strategy and differentiate yourself, it's going to be very easy to double your net profit margin.
Unless you're already at an elite level, then that it's going to be difficult.
[00:37:29] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well, Five exiting the business in five years. Why not? That's where we want to be. And we're adding value. We're changing lives. We're solving problems. doing all the right stuff. Steve the truth is we could just go on and on about the five principles and some of your case studies and what you've been up to.
But we're bumping up against time. So let's start to do this. As we begin to wrap up the episode, I have my favorite question that I get to ask. And I'd like you to think about the movie Back to the Future and in the movie you have that magical DeLorean car that can take you to any point in time. So, Steve, I want you to imagine its tomorrow morning, look outside your window and there it is the DeLorean car.
It's not only sitting right up front, but the door is open waiting for you to hop on in. So you can now go to any point in your life, Steve, as a young child or a teenager, whatever the point in time would be. What are you telling your younger self in terms of life, wisdom, or lessons learned or hey, Steve do this, but don't do that.
What would that advice be? What would that sound like?
[00:38:32] Steve Preda: I think it's played the long game, so don't get distracted by short-term results. I remember when I started my career when I was in my early twenties and I moved to London and I worked for an accounting firm from Hungary and some of my college mates, they went to work for a local stock broker and they were making all kinds of money and they were driving all kinds of cars.
And then five years later there was a recession and those businesses closing their doors and they no longer were driving those cars. At the time it looked like I bet in the wrong course, I shouldn't have gone to London, all the opportunities as in Budapest. And I stay there. So keep the long game in mind, think about what do you want to do? What you like to do? What are your talents and what do you feel that is your calling and try to focus on that.
And build your career, be at your business. You don't have to boil the ocean. Try not to do too many things at once. Less is more and I think you're gonna have a great business.
You're gonna have a great career.
[00:39:35] Jeffrey Feldberg: I love that play the long game. What terrific life advice for all of us play the long game. Well, Steve, we're going to wrap up the episode, but before we do, I'm going to put this into the show notes. If a listener would like to reach you, where's the best place online to find you?
[00:39:49] Steve Preda: So again, stevepreda.com is my website, and then you can find me there. You can also look me up on LinkedIn, Steve Preda, there are not too many of us and you'll find me there.
[00:40:01] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific. And for listeners, we'll have that in the show notes. It'll be a point-and-click it'll save you time. It'll be super easy. Well, Steve, thank you so much for spending part of your day with us here on the Deep Wealth Sell My Business Podcast. And as we wrap things up as always, please stay healthy and safe.
[00:40:16] Steve Preda: Thank you, Jeffrey. It's been a pleasure.
[00:40:18] Sharon S.: The Deep Wealth Experience was definitely a game-changer for me.
[00:40:21] Lyn M.: This course is one of the best investments you will ever make because you will get an ROI of a hundred times that. Anybody who doesn't go through it will lose millions.
[00:40:31] Kam H.: If you don't have time for this program, you'll never have time for a successful liquidity
[00:40:36] Sharon S.: It was the best value of any business course I've ever taken. The money was very well spent.
[00:40:42] Lyn M.: Compared to when we first began, today I feel better prepared, but in some respects, may be less prepared, not because of the course, but because the course brought to light so many things that I thought we were on top of that we need to fix.
[00:40:58] Kam H.: I 100% believe there's never a great time for a business owner to allocate extra hours into his or her week or day. So it's an investment that will yield results today. I thought I will reap the benefit of this program in three to five years down the road. But as soon as I stepped forward into the program, my mind changed immediately.
[00:41:20] Sharon S.: There was so much value in the experience that the time I invested paid back so much for the energy that was expended.
[00:41:30] Lyn M.: The Deep Wealth Experience compared to other programs is the top. What we learned is very practical. Sometimes you learn stuff that it's great to learn, but you never use it. The stuff we learned from Deep Wealth Experience, I believe it's going to benefit us a boatload.
[00:41:44] Kam H.: I've done an executive MBA. I've worked for billion-dollar companies before. I've worked for smaller companies before I started my business. I've been running my business successfully now for getting close to a decade. We're on a growth trajectory. Reflecting back on the Deep Wealth, I knew less than 10% what I know now, maybe close to 1% even.
[00:42:02] Sharon S.: Hands down the best program in which I've ever participated. And we've done a lot of different things over the years. We've been in other mastermind groups, gone to many seminars, workshops, conferences, retreats, read books. This was so different. I haven't had an experience that's anything close to this in all the years that we've been at this.
It's five-star, A-plus.
[00:42:29] Kam H.: I would highly recommend it to any super busy business owner out there.
Deep Wealth is an accurate name for it. This program leads to deeper wealth and happier wealth, not just deeper wealth. I don't think there's a dollar value that could be associated with such an experience and knowledge that could be applied today and forever.
[00:42:47] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table?
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